A hot and fresh cup of tea is the perfect kick start for a day. Tea or coffee holds an immense amount of importance in daily lives of many individuals. According to statistics, for 80 percent of the people in the world, having tea or coffee is a daily ritual.
You may be a fan of the British high tea or Italian espresso, but there is one drink that can take over any hot beverage and even put our coffee game to shame. The name for this amazing brew is yerba mate. This drink gives you the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea and the elation of chocolate. Great, isn’t it?
Historical Background of Yerba Mate
In the colonial era, yerba mate was known as Paraguayan tea. It was native to the fluvial reaches of the Rio de la Plata. Mate was central to the traditional practice of the pre-Hispanic Guarani people, its usage spread fairly after the defeat through the mestizo and white population and fanned outward to Brazil, the Andean region, Chile and Argentina.
Yerba mate was highly endorsed in the 17th century by the Jesuits because it gave the required revenue to them that funded their educational and missionary enterprise.
How Is Yerba Mate Prepared?
Mate is prepared by soaking the dried out leaves of the yerba mate plant (a species of the holly family) in near-boiling water. This cultural and traditional drink of Latin American countries is sipped from a gourd with a silver metal straw, known as ‘bombilla’.
The drink gives people a cherished opportunity to relax and have good conversations with friends, family, co-workers, and sometimes even strangers. Mate can be consumed many times in a day, but it is mainly enjoyed with breakfast and as a late afternoon hot drink.
Yerba mate has been defined by different phrases, such as ‘the drink of gods’ by many native South and Latin American cultures and ‘the green gold of the Indios’ by European colonists.
Let us learn the various ways yerba mate lives up to its impressive and splendid reputation.
The Health Benefits of Yerba Mate
- It provides an increase in energy and gives a mental stimulation and boost to the drinker.
- It augments the mental functions by enhancing the mood, memory and alertness.
- It is loaded with vitamins, anti-oxidants and minerals such as calcium and magnesium. The health benefits of these components are well-known.
The benefits of yerba mate do not end here! This amazing beverage has many traditional medicinal benefits as well, for example:
- It is used as a stimulant.
- It is an overall tonic and digestive aid.
- It helps in losing weight.
- It is drunk as a nerve tonic for pain, fatigue, and depression.
- It is used for treating allergies and sinusitis.
- It helps in boosting the immune system.
- It strengthens the bones.
- It aids in making the heart stronger, especially issues related to irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure and heart failure.
- It is known to kill cancer cells.
All in all, yerba mate is a magic potion.
Who Should Avoid It?
People who suffer from anxiety and women who are pregnant and breastfeeding should avoid consumption of yerba mate. Moreover, it should not be mixed with certain medicines; in such cases, a doctor should be consulted.
The Fresher, the Better
The fresher the yerba mate, the better it tastes. Although mate will still be good for as long as five years, its potency starts diminishing after two or three years. This is why you must always purchase your yerba from a source that supplies ample of yerba mate.
Yerba mate has more nutrients than just stimulants. The nutrients are definitely much higher than sweetened sodas. No wonder, the entire Latin America loves this drink. Therefore, the rest of the world needs to wake up to the drink and its benefits.